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Dream Casting: Chicago

The Prohibition-era musical returns to the West End in March for the first time since 2012

As announced last month, John Kander, Fred Ebb, and Bob Fosse's Prohibition-era musical, Chicago is heading back to the West End, opening at the Phoenix Theatre in March.

Below we pick our dream line up for the show's return to theatreland.

Catherine Zeta-Jones as Velma Kelly and Zizi Strallen
© Miramax/Dan Wooller

Velma Kelly – Zizi Strallen

One day we will do a dream casting that doesn't feature a Strallen sister, we promise, but we couldn't resist putting Zizi in as the sassy and sardonic former vaudeville performer. With wide-ranging stage credits from Merrily We Roll Along to Mary Poppins, Cats to Chicago (she played Mona Lipschitz at Curve in 2013) there's no doubt she has the versatility for such an iconic role.

Renée Zellweger as Roxie Hart and Gugu Mbatha-Raw
© Miramax/Dan Wooller

Roxie Hart – Gugu Mbatha-Raw

We got a glimpse at Mbatha-Raw's singing chops in Jessica Swale's Nell Gwynn at Shakespeare's Globe in 2015, and hardcore fans of the Doctor Who and Black Mirror actress might also know she played Cinderella's mother in a production of Sondheim's Into the Woods with the National Youth Music Theatre. We'd love to see her cut her teeth as the innocent and foolhardy Roxie.

Richard Gere as Billy Flynn and David Tennant
© Miramax/Dan Wooller

Billy Flynn – David Tennant

Tennant could mix the awkward Scottish charm we saw in Doctor Who and the sexy and manipulative Kilgrave from Jessica Jones for a different Flynn to the high-flying lawyer we've seen in previous productions. 'But can he sing?' we hear you cry in unison. Yes, yes he can.

John C Reilly as Amos Hart and Clive Rowe
© Miramax/Dan Wooller

Amos Hart – Clive Rowe

We'd love to see Rowe swap panto dame for "Mr Cellophane". The hapless husband of Roxie, Amos is described as charming and funny, which is 100 per cent how we'd describe this Olivier Award-winner.

NB. It has been brought to our attention that Rowe played this role in the 2001 production of Chicago at the Adelphi. So someone beat us to it. You could even say that we both reached for the gun...

Queen Latifah as Matron 'Mama' Morton and Marisha Wallace
© Miramax/Dan Wooller

Matron Mama Morton – Marisha Wallace

Our gut reaction was always going to be Sharon D Clarke, but she's been-there-done-that in 2004, so our next pick would be this brilliant American actress, currently receiving mid-show ovations as Effie White in the West End production of Dreamgirls.

Buy tickets for Chicago

Chicago opens at the Phoenix Theatre on 26 March 2018.